How To Change Server and Get a Lower Ping in Apex Legends
Speed is everything in Apex Legends. You could be the best player on earth, with the fastest PC but if you have a high ping, you’re not going to do well. For some reason, there is no obvious way to check what server you’re connected to and change it if necessary. But there is a way. This tutorial is going to show you how to change server for lower ping in Apex Legends. It will also show you how to maximize your side of the network for maximum performance.
Many of EA’s multiplayer games have removed the server browser. This has not gone down well with players as we all know that an algorithm is unreliable when it comes to determining where we play. Plus, we like to make our own decisions about what server to play on. As an EA game, Apex Legends picks your server for you and you have no say in it. What you can influence is the data center you connect to.
EA has data centers all over the world that host Apex Legends servers. The game should select the one closest to your location or the one with the lowest ping in your region. For the most part it does fine, but you can manually select what data server you connect to even if you cannot choose a server.
Change data center in Apex Legends
You won’t find a menu option anywhere in either the Origin Launcher or the game itself. It’s a hidden menu that takes a specific sequence of moves to unlock. Once in the menu, you can manually select your data center to the one with the lowest ping or lowest packet loss.
Here’s how to access the hidden menu in Apex Legends. I use a PC so will describe that. PS4 and Xbox, just change the keys accordingly.
- Open the game and let it load.
- When you see the main screen that says Continue, do nothing for 90 seconds.
- Then hit Escape and then Cancel. You should be returned back to the main screen.
- Select the new Data Center option at the bottom of the screen.
- Scroll through the list and select the data center with the lowest ping and/or packet loss.
- Now load into the game proper and play.
I have no idea why this option is hidden. I assume it is so EA can manage server load and spread it across data centers rather than a few high performing centers getting slowed down while others sit idle. Either way, you can now select the one that performs best for your location.
Minimizing ping for Apex Legends
Your own network also plays a part in experiencing low ping and no lag in Apex Legends. You can make some simple changes to your setup to maximize bandwidth and ensure you are doing all you can to achieve a low ping.
Here are some things to try.
Connect using Ethernet
Connecting directly to your router using Ethernet rather than WiFi is a surefire way to get more network performance. WiFi is much slower than Ethernet and changing to a cable makes a real difference. Running that cable through your home may be more of a challenge though!
Reboot your computer or console and router
Rebooting your computer/console and your router means both are fresh and ready to go. Any legacy services or processes downloading updates or whatever are shut down, fresh firmware and drivers are loaded into memory and both devices should be running at optimum. This is the most basic step to get everything ready for gaming.
Purge the network of data hungry programs
If you share a home with others, make sure they aren’t going anything that will take all your bandwidth. Make sure there is no bit torrent running, nobody is streaming 4K video or downloading anything. If you’re on broadband, someone watching SD or HD Netflix or listening to iTunes isn’t going to impact it much.
Shut down all programs you’re not using
Your PC may be able to easily multitask but closing all programs that can use computer resources as well as network ones makes sense. Any delay in Apex Legends sending messages to the server can mean the difference between life and death in the game.
Make sure network drivers are up do date
If you game on PC, making sure you are running the latest game version, graphics drivers and network drivers can make a difference. Game updates can be frequent. Graphics drivers are usually announced, especially if you use Nvidia GeForce Experience. Network drivers are not often updated but it is worth checking periodically for them.
Check your speed
If, after all these tweaks, you’re still experiencing high ping, run a speed test on your connection. If it is slower than it should be, get into your ISP to find out why. Use this site or one like it to assess your broadband speed.